Where Should You Blog?
Real Estate Professionals are becoming more and more convinced that blogging is a necessary marketing tactic. So, the question is steadily shifting from “Should I be blogging?” to “Where should I be blogging?”
For Real Estate Professionals, there are a variety of choices, ranging from real estate specific blogging channels to general blogging channels to self-hosted options. And each of them has advantages and disadvantages. Of course, for those that aren’t blogging, the first hurdle is to get started… and the actual location, while important, isn’t as important enough to stop the progress while working out the location…
Real Estate Specific Channels – Utilizing a network that is tweaked towards real estate blogging has some GREAT advantages for the new blogger. From a technical standpoint, there is built in SEO (Search Engine Optimization) with the platform since there are multitudes of bloggers writing about real estate. Search Engines see the content and make it a trusted source more quickly. Also, some of the networks have great user communities, leading to opportunities to learn more about blogging and technology, as well as build referral relationships.
On the flip side, you don’t control the platform. Management might be GREAT at the moment, but what it the platform is purchased by a company with poor practices, or worse… by a competing real estate empire? What if they introduce advertising on the blogs, and your competitors can by ad space on YOUR content? The bottom line is that you don’t have control over what goes out to the consumer. You only control your content.
But, on the balance, this might be a great place to start, discover your voice and stretch your blogging legs. You might find yourself outgrowing it, though.
General Blogging Channels – These carry most of the pitfalls and none of the benefits of Real Estate Specific Channels. You still don’t have control of what may be presented to the consumer alongside your content. Of course, it is much less likely that a real estate company will buy the platform, but not a lot less likely that a competitor could buy an ad or end up with a link on YOUR blog, without your permission. And since the content is general, the SEO benefits are gone, as well.
But, in the case of WordPress.com, you will have the opportunity to learn the WP-Admin console. And you actually can start writing. You also might have al ittle more control over the theme (design) of your blogs graphic presentation.
Blogging on a general site is probably the weakest option, in my opinion. It has all of the weaknesses of blogging on a platform owned by someone else, but few of the advantages of being on a site tuned for real estate blogging.
Self-Hosted Options – For the long term, this should be where it’s at, in my opinion. You control almost everything about the platform and the content. There are no worries about who may be advertising on your blog, nor about who might have their hand in the background. You get the final say.
However, you also get to control things like SEO… and if you create regular and compelling content, you will be noticed by the search engines. If you guest post on well known blogs, you will get important links back to your blog, and bring up your blogs SEO.
The bottom line here is that YOU are in control… For some, that is great. For others, it is terrifying. It might mean that your blog languishes with a lack of attention, or it might mean that you have to hire someone to make it rock. Or, it might mean that you have a platform that is unique and compelling and that costs VERY little money and pulls in a tremendous number of leads.
In each case, there are exceptions. And there are sites that don’t really seem to fit in their mold. Posterous, YouTube and FaceBook Pages are all examples of sites that can be useful tools, regardless of where your other efforts are focused. Using them as part of a network of your own can build your blog into something greater.
Here is a (non-real estate) network I am building…
CoolCaroftheDay.com (self-hosted WordPress site)
CCotD on YouTube (YouTube Channel)
CCotD on FaceBook (FaceBook Page)
CCotD Quick Hits (Posterous Blog, primarily populated via web links)
- A Beginner’s Guide to Blogging Basics (blogworld.com)
- Free Real Estate Search Engine Optimization (SEO) And Social Networking Training For Real Estate Professionals (prweb.com)
- New Real Estate Advice Forum and Blog Goes Online (prweb.com)
- Lane’s Newest Toy… CCotD (gwinnettgarageguy.com)